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Dear Frankie Review

Category: Dear Frankie Reviews
Article Date: January 4, 2005 | Publication: Hampstead and Highgate Express | Author:

Posted by: admin

Beautifully shot on the banks of the Clyde, this gentle film tells the story of a single mother Lizzie (Emily Mortimer) and her young son Frankie (Jack McEhlone) who is deaf.

Having left his violent father long ago, Lizzie has invented a story that he is away at sea.

She encourages Frankie to write letters to his father on the HMS Accra and responds to them with make-believe replies bearing exotic stamps.

Frankie yearns for his father yet cannot remember him.

Under Shona Auerbach's subtle treatment we are convinced that Lizzie is giving him the best father figure she can until the "real thing" arrives.

When Frankie discovers that the HMS Accra is to dock nearby, she fears her elaborate subterfuge will backfire.

Helped by warm-hearted Marie (an exuberant Sharon Small) she must find the perfect stranger to be his father just for one day.

The theme of the broken family is familiar, yet this film is fresh and full of insight, with perceptive performances from Emily Mortimer and Mary Riggans, playing her mother.

Despite poverty, their life seems wholesome like Marie's old-fashioned fish shop.

And although Frankie is deaf, the film does not focus on physical disability. It's about having faith that human goodness will prevail.

Gerard Butler's mesmerising performance as the stranger brings a brooding masculinity that is needed to balance the predominantly feminine cast.

He creates a powerful screen presence that is both sensual and vulnerable. The dénouement is unanticipated but somehow inevitable.

Well-served by Andrea Gibbs's excellent script, this is a memorable tale that delivers a message of hope and leaves you feeling good


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